Graduating CCED Research Assistants

Research assistants at CCED play critically important roles in the development and implementation of CCED sponsored initiatives. We are grateful for their creativity and dedication to the mission of CCED in what has been one of the most challenging years we could have imagined. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. Here is a list of our graduating students for spring/summer 2021.  

Sydney Jackson is graduating with honors from the College of Arts and Letters with a Bachelor of Arts in experience architecture and a minor in graphic design. She started at CCED her sophomore year as an accessibility intern and since then has been promoted to Web, Media, and Accessibility Manager. She shares news updates, upcoming events, and success stories on social media and CCED/REI websites. She also trains faculty and students on accessibility standards and leads the editing/writing teams. She plans to stay with the center after graduation as a professional aid and is excited to help plan the 10th annual Innovate Michigan! Summit event. 

Lea Dyga will be graduating from the College of Natural Sciences in July 2021 with a degree in environmental biology/plant biology and a minor in environmental science and sustainability. Lea is a member of CCED’s extended producer responsibility (EPR) team and has spent the last year spearheading circular economy knowledge networking initiatives. You can check out the team’s 2020 EPR white paper at and stay tuned for their next publication, “Survey of Great Lakes Region Circular Practices.” Lea hopes to return to West Michigan to pursue their passion for environmental justice and community sustainability.  Lea was recognized this past year as an outstanding MSU student employee.  

Blake Dunning will be graduating in May from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences with a degree in media and information and a minor in leadership organization. He has been a part of the MSU CCED media team since April of 2020. In this time, he has worked to produce, record, and edit videos and webinars detailing a variety of projects being done around CCED. His work has been shared on the MSU CCED YouTube page, as well as across the center’s social media accounts. Following graduation, Blake is hoping to move to a new city to pursue a career in the film industry.  

Kisanet Gebresilase will be graduating from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources with a degree in environmental studies and sustainability and a minor in geographic information science (GIS). She is passionate about nature, studying the impact of human beings on the environment, and sustainable development. She also has a keen interest in using geospatial technologies to manage natural resources and built structures, mitigate environmental challenges, and support sustainability works. Kisanet has been working at MSU CCED since October 2020 and contributes to the center’s work through a mixture of data collection, research, and writing. Taking part in several team projects enabled her to apply her skills and gain knowledge about diverse topics, including domicology and circular economy practices. Being part of CCED has been an ideal opportunity to enhance her professional and personal development. Following her graduation, she plans to stay connected with the center and pursue a career in nature conservation societies, environmental consulting firms, and nonprofit organizations. 

Sean Reid-Sanders will be graduating from the College of Communication Arts and Sciences with a degree in media and information and a focus area of film and media production. Since Sean’s start date, in February of 2020, he has been able to assist the Center for Community and Economic Development in media coordination, graphic design, video production, research, and writing. Through his time at the center, Sean has been able to expand his knowledge on community, economics, and the life cycle of the built environment, as well as ingrained himself in a network/community with some of the thought leaders of these subjects. Following graduation, Sean plans to continue his work in community development and to expand his skillset and knowledge to help himself to tell stories through physical and digital design.  

Back to Article list